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Statutory Instrument No. 93 of 1997



Annulment of existing rules
These Rules may be cited as the "District Court Rules, 1997" or in abbreviated form as "DCR 1997", and shall come into operation on the 1st day of May, 1997.

On and from the said date the Rules listed in Schedule A hereto shall stand annulled, save as to any proceedings ending in the Court, which proceedings shall be continued and completed as if these Rules had not been made.

The Interpretation Act, 1937, shall apply to these Rules.




Interpretation of terms : S.I. No. 17 of 2014
In these Rules-

“child” means a person under the age of 18 years;

“civil proceedings” means any proceedings which may be brought in the District Court which are not criminal proceedings and includes those suits or actions at law in which jurisdiction is conferred by any enactment on the District Court in civil cases as described in section 77A of the Courts of Justice Act 1924 and in any enactment extending or amending that section either expressly or by implication, and “civil proceeding” must be construed accordingly;

“claim” includes cause of action or matter;

“claimant” means a person seeking a remedy in civil proceedings, and any reference in an enactment to a “plaintiff” must, for the purposes of these Rules be taken to be a reference to a claimant;

“claim notice” means a document issued under these rules initiating civil proceedings in the District Court in which damages or other relief are claimed against a respondent, and where the context so requires, includes a personal injuries summons, and any reference in an enactment to a “civil summons” must, unless the context otherwise requires, for the purposes of these Rules be taken to be a reference to a claim notice;

“Clerk”, save where the context otherwise requires, means:

      (a) a District Court Clerk attached to the District Court in accordance with section 46 of the Court Officers Act 1926 and assigned to one or more Court areas in accordance with section 48 of the Court Officers Act 1926; or

      (b) a person temporarily appointed to perform the duties and fulfil the functions of a District Court Clerk; and

      (c) where a District Court Clerk conducts business in a combined courts office established under section 14 of the Courts and Court Officers Act 2009, any reference in these Rules to the office of that Clerk or to the District Court office to which that business relates is or includes a reference to that combined courts office, and any form in the Schedule of Forms may be modified accordingly;

“Convention” means a European Union instrument or a Convention with a foreign country, to which the State and any foreign country are parties, with respect to legal proceedings in civil matters;

“Convention country” means a foreign country to which a Convention applies;

reference to a “company”, unless the context otherwise requires, includes reference to any body corporate, whether established within or out of the State;

“County Registrar” when used in relation to the execution of judgments, warrants or other execution orders in any county or county borough in which the powers and duties of the Under-Sheriff or Sheriff are not transferred to a County Registrar, means the Under-Sheriff or Sheriff, as the case may be, and includes any other officer charged with the execution of process by or under the authority of the Court;

“Counsel” means:

      (a) a person who has been called to the Bar of Ireland and who complies with the requirements of the General Council of the Bar of Ireland as to professional practice; or

      (b) a visiting lawyer, having the same right of audience as a lawyer established in the State by virtue of Regulation 3 of the European Communities (Freedom To Provide Services)(Lawyers) Regulations 1979 (S.I. No. 58 of 1979), who is acting for a party; or

      (c) a registered lawyer, entitled to pursue the professional activities of a barrister by virtue of Regulation 10 of the European Communities (Lawyers' Establishment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 732 of 2003), who is acting for a party;

“Court” unless the context otherwise requires, means the District Court established under section 5 of the Courts (Establishment and Constitution) Act 1961;

“Court area” means one of the areas created in exercise of the power conferred by section 21 of the Courts of Justice Act 1953 and continuing in being by virtue of section 32 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 or, as the case may be, created in exercise of the power conferred by section 26 of the Courts of Justice Act 1953 as amended by section 43 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961, section 16 of the Courts Act 1971 and section 29 of the Courts Service Act 1998;

the “Courts Service” means the Courts Service established by the Courts Service Act 1998;

“criminal proceedings” includes proceedings under Part II of these Rules;

“debt claim” means a claim for debt or liquidated damages in which no other remedy (apart from interest or costs) is sought;

“district”, save where the context otherwise requires, or “Court district” means one of the districts created in exercise of the power conferred by section 22 of the Courts of Justice Act 1953 and continuing in being by virtue of section 32 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961 or, as the case may be, created in exercise of the power conferred by section 26 of the Courts of Justice Act 1953 as amended by section 43 of the Courts (Supplemental Provisions) Act 1961, section 16 of the Courts Act 1971 and section 29 of the Courts Service Act 1998 and must be construed to include reference to the Dublin Metropolitan District;

“Dublin Metropolitan District” means the district styled and known as the Dublin Metropolitan District established in accordance with section 47 of the Court Officers Act 1926, declared to be the Dublin Metropolitan District in accordance with section 64 of the Courts of Justice Act 1936 and described and defined in the District Court Districts (Dublin) Order 1945 (S R & O. 1945, No. 279) and varied by the District Court Districts (Dublin) (Amendment) Order 1982 (S.I. No. 88 of 1982);

“enactment” means an Act or a statutory instrument or any portion of an Act or statutory instrument;

“Judge" means a Judge of the District Court and includes the President of the District Court;

“judgment” includes any decree or dismiss, and any reference in an enactment to a “decree” or “dismiss” must, for the purposes of these Rules be taken to be a reference to a judgment;

“licensing year" means a period of twelve months ending on the 30th day of September in any year;

“Minister”, save where the context otherwise requires, means the Minister for Justice and Equality;

“oath” includes solemn affirmation and statutory declaration;

“party” includes any person entitled to appear and be heard in relation to any action, application or other proceedings and, where the context so admits or requires, includes the personal representative of a deceased party;

“penalty” includes any fine or other penal sum and, where a fine is ordered to be paid, any compensation, costs or expenses, in addition to such fine;

“personal injury” includes any disease and any impairment of a person’s physical or mental condition;

“prescribed”, in relation to fees, means prescribed by the Minister with the sanction of the Minister for Finance;

“Registered post” means a registered items service (within the meaning of section 16(12) of the Communications Regulation (Postal Services) Act 2011 provided by a person who is for the time being deemed in accordance with section 38 of that Act to be a postal service provider authorised to provide a registered items service and registered as such in the register maintained in accordance with section 40 of that Act, and “prepaid registered post”, “registered letter”, “prepaid registered letter” and all cognate expressions shall be construed accordingly;

“respondent” means a person against whom a remedy is sought by a claimant in civil proceedings, and any reference in an enactment to a “defendant” must, for the purposes of these Rules be taken to be a reference to a respondent;

“return date”, unless otherwise provided in these Rules, means the date first fixed for the hearing by the Court of an application in civil proceedings by notice of motion, by notice of application, by summons or by other document by which the application or matter is listed before the Court, and includes any date to which the hearing is adjourned;

the “Schedule of Costs” means the Schedule of Costs annexed to these Rules or any other similar Schedule for the time being in force;

“small claim”, or “small claim proceeding”, unless the context otherwise requires, includes a small claim proceeding under Order 53A and a European small claim proceeding under Order 53B;

“solicitor” includes:

      (a) a practising solicitor on record for a party (including such a solicitor who is a member of a firm of solicitors or who is employed by a firm or by another solicitor), and including a firm of solicitors; or

      (b) a visiting lawyer, having the same right of audience as a lawyer established in the State by virtue of Regulation 3 of the European Communities (Freedom To Provide Services)(Lawyers) Regulations 1979 (S.I. No. 58 of 1979), who is acting for a party; or

      (c) a registered lawyer, entitled to pursue the professional activities of a solicitor by virtue of Regulation 10 of the European Communities (Lawyers' Establishment) Regulations 2003 (S.I. No. 732 of 2003), who is acting for a party.

Additional expressions are defined for the purposes of particular Orders or rules within those Orders or rules respectively.


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